The palace itself is not open to the public and can only be admired from the road.
Decorated with elegant collonaded balconies, this two-storey beaux arts-style mansion sits amidst extensive manicured gardens in the centre of the city, surrounded by high walls with wrought iron gates. The site on which it stands was the heart of the Lao royal palace complex until the Siamese invasion of 1828, but following the devastation of that year the area remained abandoned until 1900, when the French colonial government symbolically constructed their Résidence supérieure close to the ruins of Ho Phra Keo. The latter temple was restored between 1937 and 1942, and during the 1950s the former Résidence supérieure was also renovated to serve as the residence of the king when he visited Vientiane. However, the central area now occupied by the Presidential Palace remained an overgrown wasteland until 1973 when, under the final coalition of the Royal Lao Government period, work began to build a reception hall and guest house for visiting foreign heads of state. Designed by local architect Khamphoung Phonekeo, the building was not completed until 1986, and in the intervening period before it opened the Résidence supérieure building continued to be used for state functions. Although it is known in English as the Presidential Palace, the President simply hosts receptions and ceremonies here, his official residence being located in the suburb of Ban Phonthan, in Muang Saysettha. The building is not open to the public. (source: http://www.culturalprofiles.net/laos/units/899.html)